‘The Gay’ Resigns as Senator

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Effective Friday, Utah State Senate District 2 will be without representation as Sen. Scott McCoy has announced that he will resign his seat.

In a letter on Senate letterhead, dated Dec. 1, to Utah State Senate President Michael H. Waddoups, McCoy wrote that “effective as of the close of business Friday, December 4, 2009, I resign my seat in the Utah State Senate.”

“I have come to this decision after much reflection,” he continued. “While I have been honored by and have immensely enjoyed my service in the Senate and am saddened to have to give it up, at this time, I need to devote my full attention to my legal career and my family.”

McCoy sent a statement through the Senate Site, a blog for the Republican majority of the Utah State Senate.

“My time in the Senate has been profoundly rewarding, but also an enormous personal sacrifice,” McCoy wrote. “The senators and representatives of Utah really make a terrific commitment of their time for the benefit of this state. It’s not just during the 45 days of the session. It’s every day and night. It’s during interims and constituent phone calls. My hat is off to my 103 colleagues who make this sacrifice day in and day out, every year.”

“I’ve personally come to a crossroads in my career where I need to devote my full time and energy to the practice of law. To do any less is a disservice to my firm and my family. Unfortunately, I simply cannot find the necessary time to be a successful attorney and give the time and energy to fully represent the residents of my district.

“I’m very proud of the work I was able to accomplish as a Senator. We changed important policies, opened many minds, and broke down many barriers. Certainly, there is much more to be done. But for now, I need to leave that work in other capable hands.”

McCoy was appointed to the seat in 2005 to replace outgoing Sen. Paula Julander. Julander’s husband, Rod, had sought the seat, but gay and lesbian delegates in the district flooded the appointment meeting and voted to pass McCoy’s name on to then Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker called McCoy a “strong, articulate force” in the Senate.

“I have taken great interest and satisfaction in Senator McCoy’s leadership and ability to represent his constituents,” Becker said in a statement. “I express my appreciation to Senator McCoy for his dedication to District Two residents and the State of Utah.”

Becker went on to show his support for his advisor, Ben McAdams, for the seat. Other names thrown out by party leaders and the press include Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Salt Lake County Weston Clark and House Minority Leader David Litvack.

McCoy is one of three openly-gay legislators in the state, and the only gay senator. Of the names being considered as his replacement, only Clark is openly gay.

McAdams has set up a Facebook page for his candidacy. Clark says he is “thinking about throwing his hat in the ring to fill Scott McCoy’s seat. But how to fill those shoes?”

Party leaders hope to have a replacement named before Christmas.

McCoy has told the media that he is interested in a federal judge position, but in the meantime is working towards a partner position in the law firm he works at — Howrey, LLP. McCoy is a member of Howrey’s Global Litigation and Commercial Trial practice area.

Michael Canham contributed to this story.

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